A considerable delay in filing of a petition could act as a hurdle in the effective evaluation of a case and is a valid reason to dismiss the case on solitary basis. The aforesaid has been established by the Jammu & Kashmir High Court in the case of M/S Butt Transport Company v. Union Territory of J&K & Ors. [WP(C) No.1084/2021 CM No.4400/2021]] Which was decided by a single judge bench comprising Justice Sanjeev Kumar on 16th June 2021.
The facts of the case are as follows. The petitioner in this petition is the proprietor of M/S Butt Transport Company and has been in the business of running a motor transport service. Pursuant to e-tenders invited by respondent No.4 for award of contract for transportation of food grains to Fair Price Shops and Government sale depots, the petitioner submitted his bid documents. It was submitted by the petitioner that the whole process was conducted by the respondent No.4 in a clandestine and surreptitious manner and the respondent no. 5 was suddenly awarded the bid inspite of being ineligible for the same. However, it was contended by the Sr. additional Advocate General on behalf of the respondents that all the notifications were duly notified on the official websites and that the petitioner was undoubtedly aware of such notifications which is evident from the clarifications submitted by the petitioner.
After a perusal of the facts and arguments presented, the court was of the opinion that “apart from that the petitioner has no case on merits, the petitioner must fail in this petition for having approached this Court belatedly i.e. after the conclusion of the tender process which culminated in issuance of order of allotment in favour of respondent No.5 on 24th of April, 2021.” The reasons provided by the court for the dismissal of the case it was very hard to rely upon the fact that the process was not transparent and the petioner was kept aloof from its whereabouts. The bench was very specific in mentioning the fact that “This writ petition could have been dismissed on this solitary ground. However, I have also examined the arguments of learned counsel for the petitioner on merits as well.” Hence, the petition was dismissed.